3 lessons you can learn from disruptive technology leaders
If you’re an established business you might want to consider how the “disruptors” have changed the landscape.
Simply put, not everybody is in the ‘innovation’ business but that doesn’t mean larger, established businesses can't learn lessons from the disruptors.
As disruptive technologies often occupy a space that previously didn’t exist, and provide a customer with an experience or product they didn’t know they wanted, it’s not easy to predict what will emerge.
Here are 3 ways your business can learn from leaders in disruptive technology
1. Embrace change and listen closely to all your customers
We only have to look to the history books to see that where companies failed to innovate and embrace the challenges brought about by game-changing innovations, they found their stocks dwindling and their future uncertain.
While it’s impossible to always have the first-mover advantage, rather than react with a knee-jerk, ill-conceived proposition or by galvanising a tried and tested business model, it’s worth taking a step back and asking:
What do you do to understand your customers?
Do you understand the new markets that are emerging as a result of new innovations?
Are you invested in your customer experience?
Honest feedback is crucial to putting the customer at the heart of your propositions. And this extends beyond collecting data. It means getting to the nub of underlying needs and ultimately thinking about your customer as a person, rather than a consumer who runs through a set of interactions.
Social media is a great place to start looking for these insights. Social listening can be a huge help in gathering an insight into your customer journey and pertinent consumer trends.
2. Innovation isn't a line in a business plan
Given the opportunity, would your business be in a position to take a new and innovative product to market? If the answer's no, it’s time to take a good look at your business model. Do you, as an organisation, dedicate time and resource to innovation?
Businesses driven by the end-goal and the creation of an innovative product, often aren’t best placed to achieve it. True innovation can't be shoe-horned into a yearly plan; it’s not a linear process and often takes time, involves failure and requires open-mindedness and investment.
Immediate business priorities should and will always be there, but it shouldn't come at the expense of creating a culture that encourages people to think creatively and test new ideas.
3. Unlock the potential in your business
Incredibly, a Kodak employee invented the first digital camera in their laboratories in 1977, an invention that would eventually lead to the demise of the traditional film business. It was Kodak's failure to recognise the innovation happening within their own business that left them trailing behind the competition.
As a then market leader, Kodak had no problem recruiting talented people, they just failed to drive innovation in the business.
Whatever industry you’re in, it’s vital to recognise the innovation champions in your ranks and encourage them to share their ideas within the organisation. Give them the resources to lead projects that will make these ideas a reality; provide a test stage, maybe even a route to market.
Ultimately, with the right approach, investment and a willingness to adapt to a changing technology landscape, businesses can find ways to disrupt their own industry and lead the next wave of innovation.